From a variety of angles this article looks at the question of the veil in tradition (including Western, but particularly Islamic), its meaning and its political-colonial use. The first part discusses how the use of the veil was codified in the Asiatic world - Arab, Zoroastrian and Byzantine. It is then shown how the wearing of the veil, whether Islamic or not, was later interpreted by Western colonial powers as a legitimisation of their superiority and power. The Author then looks at the semantics of the veil, from the hijab to the burq’a , in which names and meaning often overlap and diverge from one country to another. The third part analyses the role of the burq’a in Afghanistan, but emphasises that what is actually most important is the position of women, determined above all by marriage, in Afghan society.
Keywords: Velo, Islam, interpretazioni occidentali, burq’a in Afghanistan, Corano